Tourist Dies After Drinking Nicotine Tea

Jennifer Joy Logan couldn't stop vomiting, lost consciousness in Peru
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2015 8:44 AM CST
Tourist Dies After Drinking Nicotine Tea
Stock image   (Shutterstock )

A woman who went on a retreat in the Peruvian jungle ended up dead, and her family believes a nicotine-based tea she drank with a shaman is to blame. Jennifer Joy Logan, 32, of Saskatoon, was at the Canto Luz rainforest retreat center when she died on Jan. 17, the Saskatoon Star Phoenix reports. Her family was told that staff at the center made a tea intended to induce vomiting, or purging, and give Logan "clarity on her future path." (It's unclear if the purge was done in anticipation of drinking ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic drink that the center's website says it offers.) The three women who drank the tea with her "stopped vomiting within 15 minutes," Logan's sister Amy tells the Canadian Press. "Jennifer didn't stop and began to panic."

She started convulsing and ultimately lost consciousness, her mother says; shaman assistants performed CPR and she and was taken, via motorcycle and boat, to a hospital about two hours away but died on the way. A statement from the center says Logan drank a "tobacco purge" tea and had an "extreme and unusual" reaction to it. Police have not finished their investigation, but an autopsy found that she died from a pulmonary edema—a buildup of fluid in the lungs that can result in respiratory failure—and the family is having additional tests done to see if the tea was, in fact, to blame. As Canada's Global News reports, a pulmonary edema can be caused by ingesting toxins, as a weakened barrier between the lungs and blood vessels cause liquid from the latter to enter the former. Logan's mom and sister say the retreat staff, whom they met with in Peru, is devastated. "They were good people but something terrible, terribly went wrong," her mom says. (In November, a tourist died while taking a selfie in Spain.)

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